Hama – The archeological city of Apamea (Apameia) has been a target for the terrorists since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, with more than 75 pieces looted and vast areas of it devastated by primitive digging tools used by terrorists in search of gold and silver.
Head of Hama Archeological Department, Abdul-Qader Farzat, said that the terrorists were sneaking into the city’s outskirts in the beginning before they started to infiltrate the heart of the area with heavy machinery and metal-detecting equipment.
Farzat said that at first, the terrorists were only interested in golden pieces, but later on they started to dig deep in search for higher-price pieces as to sell them in black markets, mostly in Turkey and Lebanon.
He said that more than 75 archeological pieces were unearthed using arbitrary digging before being smuggled abroad, adding that the authorities have found while storming a terrorists’ hideout two mosaics set to be smuggled in addition to stone sculptures and more than 20 pottery pieces.
Farzat said that the Apamea Museum in Qal’at al-Madeeq town, which is considered one of the world’s most famous mosaic museum, was also looted.
He stressed that the Department spares no effort as to save whatever could be saved through establishing checkpoints to protect the area, calling on the locals contribute to protecting the area, given the fact that the areas covers more than 200 hectares.
SANA/M.Nassr/H.Sabbagh – 23/11/2013